Alex Hyett
Alex Hyett
CEO and Founder of GrowRecruit

How will Brexit affect recruitment?

On 29th March 2019 the UK will be leaving the EU. With Brexit only 5 months away, a decision still has not been reached and a no-deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely. Today we look at how Brexit is affecting the recruitment industry and how to mitigate against it.

How is Brexit affecting recruitment today?

The CIPD reports that a fifth of recruiters are noticing prospective candidates being more cautious about taking on new roles. It’s not just the candidates that are being cautious, organisations as well are wondering, with the uncertainty of Brexit, whether hiring new staff is the right move at the moment.

This is especially true for EU nationals. With Brexit looming many are considering whether to stay put or find work outside the UK.

On the plus side, there is more demand now for temporary workers as fewer companies are willing to hire permanent staff before Brexit. Which is great for contractors and freelancers but it does put more pressure on recruiters to find talent to reduce the skills gap.

What is going to happen after 29th March?

Settled Status

While a lot is still unknown there is a lot we do know. EU nationals still working in the UK will need to apply for “settled status” to carry on living and working in the UK.

Settled status costs £65 for those over 16 and comes with a number of requirements that you have to meet to be able to apply. There is more information on the government’s website.

This covers those already working in the UK but those looking to come to the UK after Brexit or those who fail to meet the settled status requirements will need to apply for a Visa to continue working here.

Although there is a process in place for this, it does make working in the UK less attractive for EU nationals. After Brexit, it will be harder to convince EU candidates to apply for positions here.

Increased skills shortage

If you think it is difficult to find talented staff now, it is only going to get harder post Brexit. With the pool of EU nationals looking for jobs likely to decrease it is going to be harder to fill those highly skilled senior positions.

Many companies may tackle this by hiring skilled staff from the UK but these will be in high demand with less EU nationals willing to make the move.

Instead of looking outside for missing skills it might be more prudent to work on more staff training to fill the skills gap at your company.

More marketing and talent attraction needed

With fewer candidates available you will need to increase efforts in attracting the right talent to your company. It won’t be enough to just post a job and hope for the best.

Take the time now to make sure you have the right content on your career site to attract prospective candidates. Are you advertising in the right places?

For recruiters, this means attending more careers fairs, posting more content on the company blog, and improving networking with potential candidates.

Remote working becoming more common

Over the last decade, we have seen a huge increase in companies offering remote benefits to employees. However, we are likely to see an increase of remote working with companies hiring full-time remote staff to augment a shortage of talent in the UK.

With high-speed internet becoming commonplace, companies shouldn’t shy away from full-time remote staff. Remote staff can actually be more productive than on-site staff with fewer meetings and no commute they will likely have more energy than their on-site counterparts.

How to mitigate against Brexit?

Brexit is coming so how do you prepare your company?

Work on your UK talent pool

With a shortage of EU nationals being likely post Brexit, then now is the time to work making sure you have a decent amount of UK based candidates in your talent pool. In most industries, there is plenty of UK talent just looking to fill the skill shortages.

Educate your current staff about the upcoming regulations

No one likes losing staff especially just due to a lack of paperwork. Make sure any EU nationals working in your company are aware of the need to apply for settled status to continue working in the UK.

Upskill your existing team

With 5 months left till Brexit now might be the perfect time to update your employee training program. Lacking someone with specific knowledge? Why not send one of your team on a course.

Not only will this work out cheaper than hiring new staff, but your employees will also appreciate your attention on their career and be less likely to look for the next job.

Hire remotely

If you can’t get the EU talent to come to the UK then why not hire them on a remote basis. The competition for talent is going to be fierce post Brexit, hiring remote staff may be the only way for you to get the staff with the skills you need.

Work on keeping the staff you have

Post Brexit finding a replacement for staff who are leaving is going to get harder. So why not work on employee attrition.

Making sure your staff are happy and fulfilled in their job can make the difference between surviving Brexit and your company going under due to a lack of skilled staff.


However, the economy turns out post-Brexit we know it isn’t going to be good for the job market or the recruitment industry.

How is your company bracing for Brexit? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for an easy to use tool for building up your talent pool? Why not give GrowRecruit a try for free today.